The recent letter below from NAFSA’s outgoing Exective Director Marlene Johnson is a good reminder of our crucial role as international educators and the importance of staying true to those values and our work. She says it so well!
Dear International Educators,
I know we are all still processing the results of the U.S. election and what it will mean for our work. Now is the time to remember why we do what we do. There are two things that will always remain true. First, international education work is critical to the nation we want to be. Second, NAFSA plays an important role in advocating for policies that create common ground among diverse opinions. Our society and our world desperately need people who can bridge divides. It is crucial that we stay actively engaged with and continue to learn from people of other countries and cultures.
Moving forward into the next Administration and Congress, NAFSA will continue our role in advocating for the ideals that have always made us strong. We will continue to advocate for policies that:
- advance diversity in our communities and on our campuses;
- make us a more welcoming and inclusive United States;
- ensure every U.S. college student benefits from global learning; and
- create a participatory democracy for all Americans.
The future is almost always uncertain, but America was founded on the idea that we can create it together. We believe that isolation and division diminishes us, and we believe that nations are more secure when we find common cause and common ground with others. As an association of professionals advancing international higher education, we stand among those who see the United States as connected to – and strengthened by – the global community. We remain committed to creating a future in which students and scholars can freely exchange ideas, where the best thinking on our most difficult problems can be debated, where creative solutions can be sought, and where fear is driven out of all of our institutions.
I want to thank you for your commitment to your students and scholars and for playing such a key role in building a more globally engaged society.
Marlene M. Johnson
Executive Director and CEO
NAFSA: Association of International Educators